Unexpected Pregnancy: How to Choose the Best Way Forward

A woman deserves to know all her options and choose a course based on complete information and honoring her values.You’re holding a positive pregnancy test in your hand. This was not supposed to happen. Not now.

But it did.

What are you going to do?

Your first impulse may be to find a way to reset everything. Restore the old normal.

But the “old” you, the one who was never pregnant, no longer exists. Whatever you do next, you will do as a woman who experienced a pregnancy.

This is your new normal. This is your story. But how you’ll choose to write the next chapter is up to you.

So how can you choose a way forward that will be the best for you? Here are some questions to think through:

What concerns me about continuing this pregnancy?

Important areas of your life may be impacted by this pregnancy. It is wise to consider these areas in particular:

  • Key relationships (your family, the baby’s father, your close friends)
  • Future plans (education, employment, hopes and dreams)
  • Economic stability (providing for yourself and a child)

As you try to anticipate how these aspects of life will be affected, remember that unexpected changes may open new doors. Make sure you explore the many resources available to you.

How might continuing this pregnancy benefit me?

You may find, as other women have, that pregnancy gives you strong motivation to improve your relationships (or end hurtful ones), develop a healthier lifestyle, or work hard to succeed in school.

In addition, many women find that being pregnant teaches them to put their children’s needs above their own. They find new inner courage, as their “mama bear” instinct kicks in. A mother’s protectiveness may even compel her to choose an adoptive family to raise her child if she wants more for her child than she can provide.

And one more thing. Though it might be hard to imagine at first, this pregnancy may also bring you a new person to love and be loved by.

Going through unexpected changes may open unexpected doors of opportunity.

What concerns me about ending this pregnancy?

If you choose to have an abortion, consider the impact that choice could have on these important areas of your life:

  • Key relationships (your family, the baby’s father, your close friends)
  • Your emotional, spiritual, and physical health

What will others think? What do I think?

When you face an unexpected pregnancy, your previous views on abortion—and those of the people around you—are put to the test.

Some women, under pressure, have made choices that ran counter to their values and then had to deal with deep regrets. Take time to examine your convictions. Are they founded on scientific and moral truth? Or on a mixture of misinformation and things you wish were true? For instance, if you’re hearing that your pregnancy is “only a blob of tissue,” you’re not getting up-to-date scientific truth.

Ultimately, a wise choice will be based on all the facts and honor your values.

How will abortion affect my body?

How will an abortion affect your health? It is important to get medical confirmation that you have a viable pregnancy before undergoing any type of abortion. (An ectopic pregnancy will require a different treatment.)

Be sure you get complete, accurate information about the procedures, side effects, recovery time, and possible complications of any form of abortion you consider. Try to obtain information from a reliable source that has no financial stake in your choice.

Wise choices are based on all the facts and honor your values.

Where can I find help sorting this out?

If you want a confidential, compassionate, non-judgmental place to take time thinking through all your options, one of the best places is your local pregnancy center. A pregnancy center offers free counseling services and does not refer for or perform abortions. For that reason, they make no money off any decision you make.

They will be upfront about the risks, challenges, and benefits of all three options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. They will listen to your concerns and answer your questions. And they will help you discover sources of help you may not know about.


Would you like help sorting out your options for an unexpected pregnancy?

If you live in or near Redwood Falls or Marshall, Minnesota,
Call or text us today to get started.

If you live somewhere else, call OptionLine to speak to someone who can begin that process with you, and refer you to a center near you.

Or, find your local pregnancy center here.